Sunken Condos on Vinyl


Not my best record deck, but not bad for 22 year old plastic Panasonic device.

Donald Fagen, half of Steely Dan, has recently released a new album. Since he is the guy that made “The Nightfly”, one of my all time favourite records, I thought I’d celebrate by buying a version on vinyl. It arrived today. A three sided album. The fourth side really is just shiny plastic. I grabbed my little record deck back from Mike’s office, where it has been languishing for a while, took it home and fired it up.

It sounds great. Very much in the same style as later Steely Dan stuff, which is not terribly surprising I suppose. If you like complicated, laid back, jazzy sounds then you’ll like it. Not sure if It sounds better or worse than the CD version to be honest, but it really does sound good. I’m terribly impressed by the way that we managed to get such amazing sound quality from a plastic disk with a wavy line pressed into it.

When you consider the complicated processing power that is used to move music around today, it seems incredible that my stereo reel to reel (which I must get down from the loft some day) made do with 18 transistors. And my first amplifier didn’t have many more.

I’m not sure that I want to go back to the day when skipping tracks meant waving a needle around just above some very easily scratched plastic, and where every twenty minutes you had to get up and change the record, but just this once I reckon it is worth it.